Plans are underway in Palestine* to train a new cadre of 30 monitoring and evaluation officers, part of a wider vocational education reform project involving international donors and the technical vocational education and training (TVET) stakeholder community.
Issa Amro is taking a lead role, heading up the Palestinian Ministry of Labour’s Monitoring and Evaluation working group, which includes representatives from government, business, statiticians, NGOs and vocational education providers.
(Read about the working group in Live&Learn Issue 36)
He is also the Torino Process coordinator for Palestine, which has been taking part in the European Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) flagship programme since 2010.
‘The Torino Process gives us an opportunity to monitor and review our [TVET] system, enabling us to compare ourselves to others in the region,’ he says.
‘It helps us control our output, to have continuous feedback and to focus on the main goal and to control the scope of our intervention.’
‘Through feedback we can evaluate our progress, helping us recognise successes and build in corrections and preventative actions. We are able to learn from our experience and that of other countries.’
‘Control, evaluation and experience,’ (in terms of knowledge and sharing) sum up the Torino Process for Issa.
VET in Palestine
Participation in TVET is low – 5-6,000 students out of an overall Palestinian population of around 4.3 million. With Palestinian territory divided into two areas, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the conflict continues to disrupt economic and educational opportunities.
There is high youth unemployment (around 37% for men aged 15-24 and 64% for women in the same age group)** and widespread poverty.
Nonetheless, officials and stakeholders continue to work on reforming a system that covers 10 technical VET schools and 15 industrial schools.
Currently the ministry is concentrating on establishing a reliable monitoring and evaluation system that can be used for better VET reform advocacy that brings all the efforts of donors and TVET stakeholders together. The project includes plans to train a new cadre of 30 monitoring and evaluation officers.
Other priorities include focusing on setting up a higher council for TVET and establishing labour-market driven curricula that will give opportunities for university graduates to retrain or undertake further work-based study.
A collaborative approach
Issa’s previous experience in data collection for the ministry during the previous Torino Processs round helped him understand the collaborative process for TVET reform in Palestine, involving the Ministries of Education and Higher Education; Labour; and Social Affairs and stakeholders such as the Chamber of Commerce and international donor agencies that include Germany’s GIZ, the Belgian Development Agency, BTC, and the ETF.
Announced in 2015, the four-year programme builds upon ongoing vocational education reform frunded by the European Union, in cooperation with the international donr community.
The ETF’s Peter Greenwood says the collaboration is having social, educational and economic impact. ‘To be effective and sustainable, reform needs to take into account the interests of all the relevant players. The ETF has been working together with all these stakeholders to help create an evidence-based strategy through the Torino Process.’
Issa concurs: ‘I’m very proud that we invite our stakeholders to participate in TVET in the informal sector, we have technical groups and a management team that work together.’
Watch the short film about the project on the @etfeuropa YouTube site!
* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual position of the Member States on this issue.